There’s no room for Nick Franklin in Seattle because the Mariners don’t trust his defense at shortstop and Robinson Cano kind of has second base locked down for a while, but he’d make plenty of sense for a lot of other teams.
And apparently the A’s are one of them, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Franklin “is a top target” for Oakland “but the question will be whether Seattle–currently in a playoff spot–would want to strengthen a division rival.”
Oakland would use Franklin at second base, which is where he played for Seattle last season before Cano pushed him out of a job and back to Triple-A. He hasn’t produced much in the majors yet, but Franklin is still just 23 years old and has hit .300 with nine homers and an .875 OPS in 60 games at Triple-A this season after posting even better numbers there last year.
Trades within divisions are rare, but the Mariners have been said to be shopping Franklin since signing Cano this offseason and Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com says the A’s still have plenty of talent in their farm system even after the big trade for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.